eat-a-city, Uncategorized

amsterdam

I could literally talk about Amsterdam forever…and since it’s part of the eat-a-city series, I’m going to! When I originally thought of this series, my idea was more “city in a grocery bag.” But since a lot of the places I’ve travelled to were very short visits, I decided to do more of a food diary…though A’dam is kind of an exception considering I lived, grocery shopped and cooked there.

This blog post is a love letter of sorts to Albert Heijn, the most perfect grocery store in all the world. One of the best parts of living in Amsterdam was the incredibly cheap groceries–they were cheap by American suburban standards, and prices were drastically lower compared to Gristedes/Morton Williams/Fine Fare/every subpar supermarket in NYC. I’m talking loaves of bread for 65 cents, Dutch cheese for a dollar, and insanely delicious salads for $4…granted, the groceries were priced in euros, but the conversion rate was very close to 1:1 when I was there.

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One of my favorite products at AH was the guacamole kits they had in their produce section–it cost just under $3 for two avocados, a lime, a tomato, a chili pepper, garlic, and shallots, a.k.a. everything you need to make your own guac. For perspective, I paid $2.29 for a single avocado at the Tribeca Whole Foods yesterday.

Two very typical Dutch treats that I came to love were stroopwafels and hagelslag. Stroopwafels are wafer-thin waffle cookies sandwiched with a sticky, caramel-like syrup. You could buy a package of 12 for around $1 at the store, but lots of street vendors sell homemade ones the size of your face, hot off the griddle. Hagelslag are like quality chocolate sprinkles–sprinkled on buttered bread is a standard breakfast item in this beautiful country.

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One of my favorite things to eat in Amsterdam was a veggie burger from a little restaurant called Burgerlijk. Wandering around in a hungry daze, I stumbled upon this gem when my friends were visiting over their spring break. I can be particular about veggie burgers…and I’m not sure what this one was made of, but it was incredible. Like, I think about it way too much. The whole thing is super customizable–lots of different cheeses, toppings, and sauces, and their fries are also incredible. I took my meat-eating parents here when they came to visit, and they were impressed with the regular beef burgers.

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I also went to another incredible restaurant when my folks were in town (read: free dinner) called De Vergulden Eenhorn. It’s on the outskirts of the city in a restored farmhouse–honestly as “me” as it gets–and they have just a handful of items on their menu, all of which are exceptional. I always think it’s better for a restaurant to have four entrees that they do really well, rather than ten that are just ok. We went twice because it was so damn good, and I had cauliflower soup, barley risotto, and sea bass. The restaurant makes their own bread, aioli, and hummus, which were also delicious.

found my favorite restaurant. #amsterdam #succulents #local #farmtotable

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What are your favorite Amsterdam eats?

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pin-spiration, Uncategorized

pin-spiration: mother’s day

Happy (almost) Mother’s Day to all the moms out there! (But especially my mom). These are some of the prettiest pins I found that I thought were just perfect for the holiday. I am so sad that I don’t get to spend this Mother’s Day with my mom, since this year it falls amidst the end of classes/beginning of final exams. She has plans to come to NYC later this month, so there won’t be too much separation anxiety. Instances like these are one of the few things that makes me sad about living so far from home. It would be nice to go to my parents’ house for dinner on Sundays, or just be able to go to Target together after work. I will be sending my beautiful mama lots of virtual hugs!

#tbt 🎡

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places

holidazed & confused

The holiday season is quickly approaching (my bank account is terrified), and Christmas decorations sprung up around the city before Halloween had even passed. In theory, I love the holidays. I love the idea of spending time with your loved ones, relaxing and rejuvenating, and enjoying holiday traditions. In reality, holidays are often stressful, expensive, and uncomfortable, especially if you hate the cold.

We have an artificial Christmas tree every year, instead of an authentic, New England-grown pine. Many of my childhood friends have family traditions of hunting for the perfect tree, chopping it down together, and tying it to the roof of their Volvos. My family has often used the Christmas season as an excuse to go on vacation…we conveniently snuck away to Honolulu several times, and most recently roadtripped to Key West. This year, we’re off to Cancun, though not until after the new year.

I definitely prefer Thanksgiving to Christmas. There’s none of the pressure that comes with exchanging gifts, and instead all you have to do is eat a ton of food and take a nap. As a college student, T’giving is kind of crappy though because we only get a couple of days off from classes, and then are pretty much thrown into finals as soon as we get back. After working at Delish all semester, I’m pretty excited to try out some of the recipes I’ve been writing about/tasting/testing with my mom, and fall is always crazy beautiful in New England. Instagrams to come.

homemade fall eats

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Uncategorized

being your own best friend

While recently watching Eat, Pray, Love (not of my own free will) I watched Julia Roberts stuff her face with spaghetti in Rome, by herself. She wanders through India, by herself. I came to the realization that there is a difference between being alone and being lonely.

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taking a romantic walk on the beach, by myself

When deciding where to study abroad, I chose Amsterdam in part because none of my friends were studying here, nor was anybody from my college. I wanted to be enveloped in a totally new experience, thrust into a foreign land where I’d have to fend for myself. And I have. I didn’t hit it off with any of the American students in my program. While I’m invited for drinks or coffee, I will not be extending wedding invites to these people.

This is a similar experience to my freshman year of college–I found it difficult to be myself around people, worrying they wouldn’t like me. While that isn’t an issue now, since I’ve realized I have a kick-ass sense of humor and know how to have a good time, I don’t see the point in wasting energy on temporary friendships. Meanwhile, my closest friends from high school went down their own paths at different schools. Many became part of the world of Greek life, a concept which is lost on me. One of the reasons I was attracted to Fordham was its lack of Greek life; in this or any universe, I am not a sorority girl. And while my friends seem to have made wonderful new friends, I don’t fit into that part of their lives, and they have changed in ways I have not.

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I have become newly grateful for my willingness to be alone. I enjoy going to museums alone, I cook dinner for one, and I am becoming less bothered by eating in a restaurant by myself, or going to a bar alone. I contemplated buying a cheap flight to Milan, since nobody else was interested, and spending the weekend there by myself. I didn’t, mostly to avoid giving my mother a heart attack–a well traveled woman herself, yet she seems to think a serial killer/sex trafficker/radical terrorist is waiting for me in each new city I visit. When my flight was delayed, I sat at the airport bar and ordered a Heineken. I don’t feel like there is something missing–except the bullshit that comes with forced conversations with mere acquaintances.

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On the five hour bike ride I embarked upon today (more on that later), I had a lot of time to think. I’m grateful that I have friends at all…it’s amazing that people can tolerate me for ten minutes, let alone ten years (thanks, Klaud), let alone my entire life (perks of having a sister). While I will probably never fall in love in Bali, shout out to Julia Roberts/Liz Gilbert for assisting me on my journey to total enlightenment. Namaste.

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Uncategorized

21

Well, here it is. Finally. In a few short hours, I will reach 21 years of age, a milestone of young adulthood, yet I feel no different than I did on my twentieth birthday, nor my nineteenth. On my 18th birthday, which is supposed to mark adulthood, I registered to vote and bought a scratch ticket (didn’t win anything, obviously). Last year, I hated turning 20 because my age no longer carried the naiveté of a teenager, yet I still couldn’t legally buy a bottle of champagne. And tomorrow I will be 21, an insignificant birthday here in Amsterdam where the drinking age is 18.

Anyway, I thought I would share with you 21 things I have learned in my humble 21 years of life. There are still many places to travel and countless adventures to be had, but I could not be any more blessed. HBD 2 me.

1. Nobody will ever love you as much as your parents do.

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2. Small talk is a waste of time.

3. So is straightening your hair.

4. When in doubt, have a cup of coffee.

5. People who don’t laugh at your jokes aren’t your friends.

6. Make friends with the bartender.

7. Men’s deodorant > women’s deodorant.

8. The only guy you can trust is your dad. IMG_2562

9. It’s impossible to wash cigarette smoke out of your hair.

10. There’s a reason why three-buck-chuck is only $3.

11. Don’t bleach your hair when you’re 13.

12. Don’t bleach your hair when you’re 20.

13. Money doesn’t make the world go round.

14. ALWAYS have dessert.

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15. Instagram as much as you want.

16. Meditate everyday.

17. Haircuts aren’t worth crying about.

18. Neither are boys.

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19. You can never have enough shoes. (Sorry, mom)

20. Find the right shade of lipstick.

21. There is no better friend than a sister.

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